Tag Archives: vitamins

Navigating the Complex World of Supplements

Part One – Dirty Little Secrets

Photo courteous of amenic181 and FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo courteous of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Does this scenario sound familiar? You wander into the vitamin section of the grocery store looking for a supplement – for example, one for increasing your energy and fortifying your immune system – but you don’t have a specific brand name in mind. You take one look at the options and quickly become overwhelmed; after all, there are countless different products on the shelves promising vitality and increased energy. But you did your homework. You know you would like a vitamin B-complex.

However, when you get to the vitamin B section, you have the following to choose from: organic versus non-organic, gel versus capsule versus powder, synthetic versus natural, natural versus raw, this brand versus that, that promise versus other, and the list goes on.

Have you ever wondered why the natural health industry is so complex, why there are over 29,000 different herbal products and substances? The simple answer is money and profit. It’s for this very reason that industry giants are gobbling up all of the natural and organic companies: Tom’s of Maine (fluoride-free toothpaste) was purchased by Colgate for a whopping 100 million dollars, New Chapter was purchased by Proctor & Gamble, Clorox bought Burt’s Bees, Coca-Cola bought Odwalla, Pepsi responded by purchasing Naked Juice, etc.

For the most part, the natural health field is as profit-driven as the pharmaceutical and tobacco industry. Continue reading Navigating the Complex World of Supplements

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Lunch in B.C. Public Schools

Frankenstein’s Food Masquerades as a Healthy Alternative

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How healthy is your child’s cafeteria food?

According to the B.C. Ministry of Education, very healthy. Boasting strict guidelines on their website, the ministry states that its school lunch program is “designed to maximize students’ access to healthier options and fully eliminate the sale of unhealthy foods and beverages in BC schools.”

Actions, however, speak louder than words, so I decided to investigate the adherence of the guidelines by visiting various public school food vendor websites. Vendors Products of Canada stood out amongst its competitors because it featured a special line of “healthy” foods, called Healthy Alternatives. Perusing their list of available foods, I randomly selected an item to research – a Nutribar Chocolate Brownie snack. Its nutrient profile: Only 100 calories, nine vitamins and minerals, and two grams of fiber. Moreover, it claims that indulging in this snack is “part of a healthy lifestyle.”

Falling under the unique category of healthy alternatives, it’s no surprise this treat appears to meet the Ministry of Educations healthy mandate. That is, until you turn the package over, and take a closer look at the ingredient list, which included components such as: Continue reading Lunch in B.C. Public Schools